Re: Grand Larceny and Using Someone Elses Credit Card
If what you are stating is true...that: 1 - You had grandma's full knowledge and permission to use the card, 2 - Grandma placed no limits or restrictions on your use of the card, 3 - Grandma specifically authorized the largest single charge (medical expenses), 4 - You have been making regular and reasonable payments on the outstanding debt, and 5 - The payments have never been below the minimum amount due and never past due, then I see nothing to warrant a criminal charge for theft. However, let me preface that...I am assuming that you have been making payments directly to the credit company and not to grandma and grandma does not dispute that she gave you permission. If you have been paying directly to the credit company, then you should have ample documentation of that (canceled checks, bank records of transfers, or whatever). So, both the credit company and the police can easily see that you have been making good faith payments on the debt. While apparently NC statutes do not specifically define "larceny," it is generally, legally accepted that there has to be a specific intent to deprive another person of something of value, which that other person is legally entitled, without that person's permission or other legal authority. You had grandma's permission and your continual payments are good circumstantial evidence against any intent on your part.
However, the specific actions you took to utilize the card may be of concern, both criminally and civilly. From you posts, I get the impression that grandma never contacted the credit company to make you an authorized user on the account. That is, your name was not added to the account and you did not have a card with your name on it. That being the case, every time you used the card, legally speaking, you were assuming grandma's identity. Basically, every time you made a purchase, you were telling the seller that grandma was the buyer.
How did you sign any charge slips? Did you sign with your name or with grandma's name? If you signed grandma's name, that's forgery.
If grandma claims that she never gave you permission and didn't know you had her card, you might also have to defend against an accusation of possession of stolen property. If you didn't have any written agreement with grandma, have no witnesses to the agreement, or other evidence that there was an agreement, it could be hard to defend yourself against these accusations.
I don't want to scare you with these possibilities. Because, I think it is iffy that a prosecutor would feel they had a strong enough case to file charges with these circumstances (regardless of what grandma and sis claim). However, the possibility is there. You should consult with an attorney and take action to defend yourself against these accusations.
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